Belinda

LUXURY TRAVEL MANAGER

Travel is about attention to detail, whether for 2 or 200

Belinda is a Groups specialist with expertise in Art-related and other specialist group travel, including Food & Wine, sport, and agriculture. Born and raised in Bloemfontein, she completed her university degree in Communications, before moving to London and into the travel industry. Belinda has had a lifelong love of travel and a glowing career spanning major events for hundreds and incredibly detailed itineraries for smaller groups and couples. She was the Great Wine Capitals Global Network coordinator for Cape Town for 12 years. She created and managed Celebrity Food & Wine pairing events for Wines of South Africa with over 800 delegates. Most remarkable is that she brings the same energy and attention to detail whether it’s for two people or several hundred. Having returned to her beloved South Africa, she is happiest when sharing the beauty of Cape Town and the diverse African continent with travellers from all around the world.

Her top trips include:

  • Harvard Business School Global Alumni Food, Wine and Art programme around South Africa
  • A 250-guest A-list wedding, hosted in SA with the bride from New York and celebrity guests from all over the world
  • Wines Of South Africa Green Tie event for 650 politicians and influencers, including 20 Food & Wine Stations
  • Unilever Savoury Division Management Conference for 300 delegates in Cape Town and Winelands
  • WOSA Celebrate Cape Kontrei Cuisine, which won SA Tourism Best of Business Tourism Awards 2006 and was nominated for National Best Special Event and awarded 2nd place
  • 2004, 2006 and 2008 Celebrity Chef Food & Wine showcase, all nominated in South African Tourism Best of Business Special Event category

Q & A with Belinda

What do you love most about your job?

To live in Africa is a special privilege and I am passionate about sharing this with guests. To travel is to broaden your mind and I believe it should be life changing. For me to be able to create and make people’s travel dreams a reality is very rewarding.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten when traveling?

I’m a firm believer in moving out of your comfort zone when traveling and this includes all things culinary. The strangest thing I’ve eaten is deep-fried Mopani worms in Zimbabwe.

What is your most memorable wildlife sighting?

I’ve had some unbelievable experiences – from elephants charging the safari vehicle to tracking rhino on foot… but the most special have been the experiences shared with my son. We’ve been so lucky on game drives together – especially with leopard sightings. Seeing his face after witnessing a leopard kill was priceless.

What is your best Cape winelands estate?

If someone only had a few hours to spend in the winelands at one estate, I would take them to Vergelegen in Somerset West. The Estate has it all…. a 300-year-old history, typically Cape Dutch architecture, beautiful gardens, an impressive art collection, fabulous restaurants, an excellent environmental ethos and award-winning wines.

What is your top African city?

Cape Town of course… the fact that, beyond its obvious beauty, there is so much more to our Mother City. It’s a metropolis you can come back to time and time again. There is so much to discover and, the deeper you go, the more you will experience of the beauty, food, art, adventure, architecture, wine, culture and what truly makes Cape Town special – its people.

Do you have any packing tips for travellers to Africa?

Before going on safari, I think it’s important to read up a bit about the area and wildlife.

Most importantly though, bring a sense of adventure! The experience is also about what you make of it; be patient and take the time to not just look out for the Big Five, but also the smaller things. The insects, the plants, the stars!